Independent studies are simply defined as taking charge of your learning. It is a way of learning that doesn’t require supervising from either a teacher or tutor. This is equivalent to giving the child the liberty of selecting which to study on, research to do, and identifying the research materials that would be useful in the course of study. Also, the individual manages the evaluation of their learning too.
The ability to learn individually comes with various benefits which include: improved academic performance, enhanced motivation, etc. As well as some demerits too, such as no room for asking questions, lack of resources, etc. but it is an amazing and very useful skill to have, even beyond school but in working places too.
As much as independent learning is an individual-led task, there are some ways that are effective in developing independent learning skills. Although developing independent learning skills is a gradual process that works with time, this article identifies some of those ways that can be very useful and helpful.
- There is the need to set a target goal that will serve as a focus for the individual. Having a project to work on brings about a reason to get the work done, which indirectly improves learning independently. You have to give room for freedom in choosing what they would like to work on, this will give them a sense of responsibility which will help them towards becoming better at learning independently.
- You can allow the pupils to work in groups, allow them the freedom to get the set tasks done as one thereby learning from individual’s inputs. This allows them to develop their own ideas, opinions, etc. The need for each pupil to have a hand in the project will serve as a drive, pushing them forward to have to learn or research individually. Group work helps students to inspire each other.
- Building your pupils’ curiosity and anxiousness is a very important tool in developing independent studies. This makes them want to learn and know more thereby driving them towards making various readings on their own. You can ask them open-ended questions that urge them to think, withhold the answer to get them to be eager towards finding out what the answer can be.
- Availability of materials and resources should be made paramount and must be easily accessible to the students. The need for continuous learning makes the provision of quality materials essential while its easy accessibility makes learning less difficult.
- Always create educational discussions which give the students an avenue to share their knowledge base on what they’ve learned over time. It also gives them the confidence to be able to believe in their own ideas as a result of the research they must have done. Such platforms serve as a chance for them to reflect, it helps in letting them know their strengths, areas they need to improve on and the progress they have made so far.
- With all the above put in place, there is the need for constant encouragement based on the efforts made to learn more. This aids in building not only more motivation but also the need for the student to strive harder to become better.